You put in the time to get fit, but are you setting yourself up for success? Make sure all the hard work you do in the gym pays off by following these 10 strategies to do before, during, and after a workout.
Pencil It In
Consistency is key when it comes to seeing results, so don't let your workout be the first thing you drop off your to-do list when life gets busy. An easy way to keep yourself accountable is to schedule your workouts for the week into your calendar.
Go in the Morning
Want to burn more calories during your workout? Set your alarm — exercising in the morning can mean you have more energy throughout day, and making it the first thing on your to-do list means you may be more apt to stick with it as well.
Get More Sleep
Overtraining and overworking can lead to fatigue, injury, and burnout — all things you definitely don't want to impede you when you've got a workout goal. That's why getting enough sleep is important to your workout routine: if you're tossing and turning throughout the night, read our tips on how to get more quality sleep here .
Drinking enough water every day ensures you stay properly hydrated so you don't feel fatigued and lethargic during your workout. Drink water throughout the day, not just right before you exercise, to make sure you can give your workout your all. A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water to turn your urine pale yellow; read more about how much water you should drink here .
Always do the same workout for the same amount of time? You may not be challenging yourself. Try increasing your workout by a few minutes by adding another set or a few more minutes of cardio. Need more motivation? Read just how much more calories you'll burn with just five more minutes of exercise here .
Go With a Friend
Friends make everything more fun, and that includes your workout! They also help keep you from skipping out on a workout, and help push you during a workout to keep you challenged. Buddy up with these strategies for finding a workout buddy here .
Do Something Fun
Avoiding the plateau is the key to seeing results, and mixing up your routine is the best way to ensure you're keeping your body guessing. Do that by trying something new and fun; not only will you be working different muscles, but choosing something you enjoy will help you not view your workouts as a chore.
Take a Rest Day
Just like sleep, resting is important for recharging and repairing your body. Take a day this week to rest and relax instead of working out. You don't just have to plant yourself on the couch, however; whether it's a gentle yoga class or a leisurely walk, low-intensity activities can help you recharge as well. Here are five ways to spend your rest day .
Stock Up Your Snacks
If you're constantly rushing from work to the gym without a minute in between, eating the right pre-workout snack can be hard to do. Instead of always opting for whatever's in the vending machine before you work out, plan your snacks ahead of time so you can grab everything you need during your weekly shopping trip. Need snack ideas? Here's a list of some of our favorite pre-workout snacks .
Prep Your Clothes
Even if you don't work out in the morning, prepping your gym outfit ahead of time makes a routine simpler. Regularly swapping out dirty clothes in your gym bag for a fresh outfit, or laying out your clothes the night before helps you stick with your workout goals; after all, it's hard to skip out on a workout when your Lululemon capris and running shoes are out and taunting you!